Two new caps in squad as England seek to end European drought

Nicholas Marsh

England Golf will parade two new caps in their six-strong squad as they seek to bridge an eight-year gap without a victory in the annual European Boys Team Championships at Lidingo Golf Club near Stockholm in Sweden on 10th – 14th July.

The newcomers to boys international golf are Nick Marsh (Huddersfield, Yorkshire) and Ashton Turner (Kenwick Park, Lincolnshire), while the other four members of the team will be Matthew Fitzpatrick (Hallamshire, Yorkshire), Patrick Kelly (Boston West, Lincolnshire), Max Orrin (North Foreland, Kent) and Toby Tree (Worthing, Sussex). The non-travelling reserve is Harrison Greenberry (Exeter G&CC, Devon).

Marsh (image © Tom Ward) is the current leader of the Titleist/FootJoy England Golf Boys Order of Merit following joint second place in the McEvoy Trophy and equal third in the Fairhaven Trophies, while Turner, fifth on the Merit list, was also third at Fairhaven.

The inclusion of Turner means he steps up from an under 16 international last year when he was also an England schools cap.

Fitzpatrick finished runner-up in last year’s Titleist/FootJoy Boys Order of Merit following a second place in the England Boys Under 18 Championship for the Carris Trophy, reaching the quarter finals of the British Boys and as joint winner of the Junior County Champions Tournament.

A former under 16 international, he became a boy cap in last year’s Boys Home Internationals in Wales and has won this year’s Selborne Salver and finished second on countback for the Hampshire Salver.

Kelly, currently second on the Merit list, also made his debut as a boy cap in last year’s Boys Home Internationals, having finished runner-up to Greenberry in the British Boys. Another former under 16 cap, he won the Fairhaven Trophy last month.

Orrin made his debut in last year’s European Boys Championship in the Czech Republic after stepping up from an under 16 international. Runner-up in the English under 16 Championship for the McGregor Trophy in 2010, he was equally successful last year, winning the Andalucia Junior Open in Spain, finishing second in the Darwin Salver and third in the Fairhaven Trophy.

This year, he was again second in the Darwin Salver but has recorded two significant victories, winning the prestigious Thunderbird International Junior in Arizona and the Kent Championship. He was also tied fourth in the South East of England Links Championship.

Tree returns to boys international golf after making his full England debut against France last month, winning two of his four games. Winner of the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters last year, he also tasted victory in South Africa over the winter, winning the Gauteng North Open.

A former Sussex Boys champion, he has the distinction of winning the English under 14 Championship in 2008 then the under 16 title in 2010. He also finished runner-up in last year’s North of England under 16 Championship.

England has not won the Boys European title since 2004 in Finland and will want to improve on eighth place in 2010 and 11th last year.